Herding DH’ers to Support Skill-building/Professional Development Initiatives for Libraries

This summer at DH 2014 in Lausanne, Switzerland, there is going to be a workshop dedicated solely to the development of DH skill-building and professional development initiatives for librarians and library staff. While everyone on the panel for this workshop are really excited to have the opportunity to help libraries in this important task, it is really hard to get 7 people from all over the world together, online, at a single point in time. Thus, I’m taking 10 minutes out of my #DayofDH to setup a second Doodle poll to capture one point in time where we all might be able to meet together–it’s a little like herding cats.


Cat Herders by Rich Bowen via https://flic.kr/p/2Kuct2
Cat Herders by Rich Bowen via https://flic.kr/p/2Kuct2


As a side note, if you’re interested in developing a DH skill-building/professional development initiative with/in your library, think about registering for our workshop. The space is limited to 30 participants!


Balancing the Digital and the Traditional

It's always so much fun to get to see the fascinating books in our collecting areas before they hit the shelves.
It’s always so much fun to get to see the fascinating books in our collecting areas before they hit the shelves.

So in addition to all of the fun, cool digital humanities things I get to do as Textual Research Librarian, I also have traditional, curatorial duties for Stanford University Libraries’ Linguistics and Philosophy collections. This afternoon, I’ve been focusing on some of these duties. For example, I just had the pleasure of working with a retiring professor to see if any of his office library can be used to expand our Linguistics collection and backfill journal volumes that have been lost or that we never had–he also has a wicked collection of 1st edition Oz books that unfortunately don’t fit in my selecting areas and that he is going to take with him into retirement. I also have to manage funds for purchasing new books and data; and I get to have the first look at new books that come to us on approval before they are sent to the stacks. It’s kind of nice to have a break in the day to get back in touch with the materiality of books when you’ve spent all morning in the digital realm.

Long Distance Collaboration

Collaborating with Allison

Collaborating with Allison

One of the things I love doing is service in my discipline: linguistics. I’m part of a team that works to make available legacy linguistic survey data as part of the Linguistic Atlas Projects. A week and a half ago at SECOL 81, Allison Burkette (Associate Professor of Linguistics at Ole Miss) and I got the brilliant idea to work together on a project to make accessible and discoverable the field notes from LAP projects like the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States, and the Linguistic Atlas of New England. It’s so much fun to leverage technology like Google Hangouts to meet together when we’re thousands of miles apart to come together and work on projects like this one–what’s even better is having amazing collaborators that are just as productive and excited about the project as you are.

Take a Moment and Thank Your Librarian

In between initiating data transfers to Box, I’ve had to participate in a series of email threads regarding license agreements and access to language data (both the full-text ones I talked about in my previous post, but also some linguistic corpora that we’re trying to centralize in the library). Many scholars who utilize library-centered digital collections for text mining and language analysis don’t realize how much work, effort, and negotiation go into making these kinds of resources available to patrons–I know that I didn’t before coming to work for Stanford University Libraries a year ago. Nonetheless, as we observe and document this Day of DH take a moment to thank your librarian(s) for all of the work that they may do to make these resources available to those of us doing awesome DH-y thangs!

A late start to my DH day, but data never begins too early

SUL hText Legacy Data - Box
Utilizing Box as a transfer point for legacy full-text collections as they are transferred to the Stanford Digital Repository.

Well, this morning began a little later than usual (I lost my keys last night and had to have my car and house rekeyed), but I’m finally in my office and starting the day.

My morning is beginning with some data munging and workflow management. I’m currently working to convert all of SUL (Stanford University Library) Humanities Text Services’ legacy full text collections from SGML into valid, well-formed XML for preservation in the Stanford Digital Repository. After using a suite of ruby scripts I’ve designed to facilitate the conversion process, I then transfer all of the original and converted files into Box temporarily before they are accessioned into our digital library’s repository. It’s not pretty work, but someone has to do it.

Just another Day of DH 2014 site

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